“No news is good news” may be a mantra to some, but probably not to fans of the Dodgers. While the front office has indeed made some moves—most notably re-signing Clayton Kershaw and adding Joe Kelly to the bullpen—all the rest of the moves they’ve made are mostly underwhelming.
One school of thought is that this is by most accounts a team that has reached back-to-back World Series, and as such doesn’t need too much tinkering—just a piece or two that would finally get them over the hump.
But then there’s the other camp, rightly pointing out the flaws in the team. They traded their most dynamic player and fan favorite Yasiel Puig to Cincinnati. Besides Walker Buehler, the pitching staff is aging and often injury prone. Now at the catching position is a guy that hasn’t been the main catcher for a whole season in Austin Barnes, alongside another aging veteran in Russell Martin. No one knows who the starting second baseman will be, and as stated above, Puig’s arm is gone from the outfield.
Now, the team is still a very good team, above stated issues aside. But they are not good enough to repeat as World Series contenders. One look around the NL will show that. All of the other would-be contenders have gone out and made significant additions. One of them is most likely going to sign Bryce Harper, who, to me, would’ve made the only suitable replacement for Puig in right field.
There are rumors that there still is a ‘mystery team’ in on Harper, and I’m not foolish enough to think that it’s actually the Dodgers, although my heart would love to believe that it is. For most, aside from the front office, this seems like a slam dunk. Harper reportedly would love to play in Los Angeles as it’s relatively close to his home base of Las Vegas. Besides Kershaw, the Dodgers are lacking a superstar that a major market like L.A. deserves. And they have the money, even though they don’t want to spend it. Heck, the front office should easily be able to match the Chicago White Sox’s reported offer to Manny Machado of 8 years, $250 million if it really wanted Machado that badly.
We will just have to be patient and see how the first half of the season turns out. This team now is not what it will be on September 1st, and the front office will undoubtedly make additions between now and then. Will they be enough, is a perpetual wonderment now for Dodger fan.
A team never does what a fan base wants, for a myriad of reasons. Money constraints. Personnel issues. The economy. Who knows. But this front office owes it to Dodgers fans to get a team a world championship, especially after 2017 when they had the better team and still couldn’t get it done.
Beating a point to death does no good, especially when no one who could do anything about it is listening. We can all scream about the front office not doing more until we’re blue in the faces. I understand that the team’s goal is to make it as competitive as possible for as long as possible. And that has definitely been achieved. But as long as tickets prices keep going up, and local fans can’t see their team on their televisions, the front office should be pushed to field the very best team money can buy.